Seattle Mariners Should Pursue Patrick Corbin

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 02: Starting pitcher Patrick Corbin
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 02: Starting pitcher Patrick Corbin /

As Seattle Mariners fans anxiously await for GM Jerry Dipoto to add an arm to the starting rotation, there is one trade target that has hardly been touched on here in Seattle; Arizona left-handed pitcher, Patrick Corbin.

While Patrick Corbin does not carry the same weight as teammate Zack Greinke, of whom we actually discussed a radical trade idea, but he could be exactly what the Mariners need. So lets breakdown Corbin and what exactly he would bring to Seattle.

The Player

Corbin is a 6’3″, 28-year-old, left-handed pitcher. Originally drafted by the Angels in the second round of the 2009 MLB Draft, Corbin didn’t stick around long. He was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks as a PTBNL in 2010, to complete the Dan Haren trade. The GM of the D-Backs in 2010? None other than Jerry Dipoto.

On the surface, Corbin may not appear to be that exciting. His 4.03 ERA and 14-13 record in 2017 wont excite the casual baseball fan. However, a closer look at Corbin’s numbers suggest he is the perfect fit for the Mariners.

In 2017, Corbin produced an impressive 50.4 GB% (ground ball percentage) falls in line with his career 49 GB%. Along with the high ground ball rate, Corbin can also miss bats. In 2017, he set a career high with a 8.45 K/9 ratio. He also has an ability to avoid the walks, dishing out just 2.69 BB/9 over his career.

Corbin does have an injury history, missing all of 2014 due to Tommy John surgery, and the first half of 2015 rehabbing from the injury. After an up and down 2016, Corbin came back and produced a solid 3.0 fWAR in 2017.

The Fit

Corbin fits the Mariners extremely well. In addition to adding another ground ball heavy pitcher to the rotation, Corbin would also give the Mariners a second quality lefty to balance their rotation. Corbin would become the #3 starter, sliding between Felix Hernandez and Mike Leake, breaking up the right-handed pitchers.

Corbin is entering his final year of arbitration, and is projected to make $8 million in 2018. The Mariners window for contention is almost closed, and a shorter term acquisition is the best option for the aging team.

If Corbin comes to Seattle and pitches well, there is a good possibility the Mariners can slap the qualifying offer on him, and recoup a Top 75 draft pick. If not, an $8 million dollar investment is nothing that will stop the team from making more moves this off-season.

The Cost

Here comes the difficult part of our discussion. The cost of Corbin is more than his modest $8 million salary. The Arizona Diamondbacks are a playoff team, who desperately need to clear some salary. Some have speculated that Zack Greinke is being shopped, but the contract has thus far been too difficult to overcome.

Buster Olney has described the D-Backs as ” motivated” to move salary, including that of Patrick Corbin. So what he have is a motivated seller, who still wants to compete in 2018. Because of Corbin’s lack of club control, the trade cost shouldn’t be outrageous.

One possible trade route is reliever and prospect for the young lefty. A combination of Nick Vincent and Luis Liberato might do the trick. Or perhaps, the D-Backs would be more interested in a younger, cheaper option like Tony Zych or Dan Altivilla along with a handful of lottery tickets.

Regardless of the cost, the Mariners should be very interested in partnering with the Diamondbacks in a trade. The cost of Corbin should not be debilitating to the Mariners long-term. The short-term benefits of making a Corbin deal, far outweigh the minimal cost.

Next: Could the Mariners, Rays Make Another Trade?

Whether the Mariners pursue Corbin or not, they cannot sit on the rotation as is. Doing so would be a colossal failure for Jerry Dipoto and company, and might lead to sweeping changes for the Mariners in 2019.